Spot on, Erik Loomis.

Patagonia’s getting a bunch of kudos (including the New Yorker ooooooo) for auditing its supply chain, seeing that it is in fact a part of the current garment industry in which worker exploitation and abuse is rampant, and taking steps to make things better.

Good for them.


[W]hatever Patagonia is doing may in fact be positive. But the point is that a) we won’t know except whatever the company tells us and b) it does not seem that workers themselves will have any power to demand dignified lives. The whole system exists upon the goodwill of Patagonia executives. No fundamental change to injustice can take place if it rests on the goodwill of the powerful. It must be codified into the legal code.

Aesthetically that last sentence is a bigger affront to human dignity than the triangle shirtwaist fire but it’s right.

Institutions.  Structure.  Codification.  Or GTFO.